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Review and Measurements of Bluesound NODE 2i Streamer

ALex_hha

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Have I correctly understood - as a pure network streamer Node 2i is a good choice ?
 

Bombadil

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A very good choice, I've got two of them.
Agreed, I have 3. With digital out there is no affect on SQ so you're just buying the interface, which is excellent, and the build quality, customer support etc. There is a newer version of the Node 2i, called simply the "Node"; not sure it is available for sale right now.
 

steve-z

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Agreed, I have 3. With digital out there is no affect on SQ so you're just buying the interface, which is excellent, and the build quality, customer support etc. There is a newer version of the Node 2i, called simply the "Node"; not sure it is available for sale right now.
The new Node is apparently available in mid June, there's a review comparison with the 2i by Hans Beekhuyzen on Youtube, it has a different DAC, a HDMI socket and programmable preset buttons on the top, it also has a faster processor. Spoiler alert!! he reckons the sound quality is identical to the Node 2i.
 

ALex_hha

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Agreed, I have 3. With digital out there is no affect on SQ so you're just buying the interface, which is excellent, and the build quality, customer support etc.
The only thing - is there any usb output ? If I have USB DAC can I use it with the Node ?
 

godmax

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The only thing - is there any usb output ? If I have USB DAC can I use it with the Node ?
The newest Node that is released now has also an USB out feature according to the homepage, but only usable with a later firmware update. So yes you might be able to use your USB DAC with the Node in the future.
 

JClarkw

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Has anyone else reported buffer-underflow problems specific to the BlueSound Node 2i?

In my setup high-frequency crackling noise over top of the music occurs intermittently for a couple of seconds at a time, usually repeating several times over the course of an hour or two's listening. It sounds a lot like somebody crinkling Mylar wrapping paper in front of the speakers, but even higher in frequency. The noise bursts are occasional, not occurring on some days and on most others only over an hour or so, so they are difficult to troubleshoot. (I've used a Node 2 at another location where it must stream over WiFi and output via the analog outputs, and I've heard actual dropouts there but never any crackling.)

It has been suggested elsewhere that this crackling is due to buffer underflow. If so, I assume this must be happening in the Node 2i (perhaps due to slow-downs at Qobuz or my Internet connection), since my external DAC, the Topping D50s, doesn't do any buffering. I see no specs on buffer size, nor do I know anything about typical buffer sizes in streaming devices with which to compare. Is there info on this?

The signal chain is Qobuz->Verizon Fios (typically >400Mbits/s)->Gbit router->wired Ethernet->BlueSound Node 2i->Topping D50s (via digital coax)->preamp->graphic equalizer->power amp->speakers. I've never heard this kind of noise from my CD player, turntable, or FM tuner, all connected to the same preamp, etc., so I'm inclined to rule out the analog components. The Node 2i, preamp, equalizer, amp, and speakers are all relatively new. The D50s and digital coax are the oldest links in this chain, having been in service for a few years.

Some specific questions for this group:
1) Has anyone else had similar problems with the Node 2i (or with Qobuz in the eastern US, for that matter)?
2) Is there any reason why the coax output should be more prone to this type of problem than the optical or analog outputs?
3) Any suggestions how best to get rid of the problem?

Best Regards -- JClarkW
 
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nstzya

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I have never had such happen. But I use my Node2i as digital preamp using only digital out. I use Tidal, not Qobuz. But I did trial Qobuz and do not recall any such issue. Perhaps take advantage of the Tidal trial to eliminate Qobuz as a variable?
 

AdamG247

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Has anyone else reported buffer-underflow problems specific to the BlueSound Node 2i?

In my setup high-frequency crackling noise over top of the music occurs intermittently for a couple of seconds at a time, usually repeating several times over the course of an hour or two's listening. It sounds a lot like somebody crinkling Mylar wrapping paper in front of the speakers, but even higher in frequency. The noise bursts are occasional, not occurring on some days and on most others only over an hour or so, so they are difficult to troubleshoot. (I've used a Node 2 at another location where it must stream over WiFi and output via the analog outputs, and I've heard actual dropouts there but never any crackling.)

It has been suggested elsewhere that this crackling is due to buffer underflow. If so, I assume this must be happening in the Node 2i (perhaps due to slow-downs at Qobuz or over the Internet), since the D50s doesn't do any buffering. I see no specs on buffer size, nor do I know anything about typical buffer sizes in streaming devices with which to compare.

The signal chain is Qobuz->Verizon Fios (typically >400Mbits/s)->Gbit router->wired Ethernet->BlueSound Node 2i->Topping D50s (via digital coax)->preamp->graphic equalizer->power amp->speakers. I've never heard this kind of noise from my CD player, turntable, or FM tuner, all connected to the same preamp, etc., so I'm inclined to rule out the analog components. The Node 2i, preamp, equalizer, amp, and speakers are all relatively new. The D50s and digital coax are the oldest links in this chain, having been in service for a few years.

Some specific questions for this group:
1) Has anyone else had similar problems with the Node 2i (or with Qobuz in the eastern US, for that matter)?
2) Is there any reason why the coax output should be more prone to this type of problem than the optical or analog outputs?
3) Any suggestions how best to get rid of the problem?

Best Regards -- JClarkW
I would make sure your running the latest updated firmware. Last update was 3 day ago: https://support.bluos.net/hc/en-us/articles/4421080071447-BluOS-3-16-7

If no joy after the update, try a reboot cycle and then try a power cycle. These are all fairly easy tasks to complete and maybe one will fix the issue. If none of the above works, I would start troubleshooting the interconnection wires.
 

steve-z

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I would make sure your running the latest updated firmware. Last update was 3 day ago: https://support.bluos.net/hc/en-us/articles/4421080071447-BluOS-3-16-7

If no joy after the update, try a reboot cycle and then try a power cycle. These are all fairly easy tasks to complete and maybe one will fix the issue. If none of the above works, I would start troubleshooting the interconnection wires.
If you check the wording in the link you listed the 3-16-7 update doesn't relate to the Node 2i, the up to date version for the 2i is 3-16-5, mine were updated to that just a few days ago.
 

AdamG247

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If you check the wording in the link you listed the 3-16-7 update doesn't relate to the Node 2i, the up to date version for the 2i is 3-16-5, mine were updated to that just a few days ago.
I stand corrected. It’s pretty much an automated process from the Bluesound App. Thanks for the correction.
 

hmscott

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I would think the resource to ask would be Bluesound themselves, they would be helpful in helping you debug the possibilities for the root cause of the problem, as they themselves might have come across this themselves or received support reports about it via customer bug reports.

Bluesound have a M-F support so you'll need to wait for a response. https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/en-us/articles/217894298-Contact-Us
 
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nstzya

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I would make sure your running the latest updated firmware. Last update was 3 day ago: https://support.bluos.net/hc/en-us/articles/4421080071447-BluOS-3-16-7

If no joy after the update, try a reboot cycle and then try a power cycle. These are all fairly easy tasks to complete and maybe one will fix the issue. If none of the above works, I would start troubleshooting the interconnection wires.
And don’t forget to do the same with your modem router while you’re at it.
 

Tangband

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Have I correctly understood - as a pure network streamer Node 2i is a good choice ?
I would say : If youre not using toslink input and dont use the internal dac and dont care about money, then yes.
A rasberry HAT or Yamaha wxc50 with internal dac is measuring better and cost is less.
 

JClarkw

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I would think the resource to ask would be Bluesound themselves, they would be helpful in helping you debug the possibilities for the root cause of the problem, as they themselves might have come across this themselves or received support reports about it via customer bug reports.

Bluesound have a M-F support so you'll need to wait for a response. https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/en-us/articles/217894298-Contact-Us
My experience with BlueSound online technical support has been that their answers (when they eventually arrive) are superficial and largely irrelevant because they don't take the time to read and understand the question. Telephone support usually seems to entail unbearably long waits. But maybe it's worth another try... -- jclarkw
 

JClarkw

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Has anyone seen issues with the optical output from the Node 2i?

I ask because elsewhere it was mentioned that "D50s is know to have issue with digital coax [input]." Is an optical link between the Node 2i and my Topping D50s likely to improve my problem or just create a different one?

Regards to All -- JClarkW
 

tparm

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For fun, @amirm are you interested in measuring the Node (130) running current firmware and having the ability to measure the USB output?
 

MaxouPaxou

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Hello,
I want to share with you a particularity of the node 2i (that some of you may already know!)
I am currently using a Node 2i connected to a Topping E50 dac, which is connected to a Ncore power amp. For some time, I've been wanting to listen to vinyls, but I thought that the analog input of the node was not converted to digital and therefore would not be transmitted to my external dac... but I was wrong!!!
I did a test today, without conviction, thinking that buying a preamp with a source selector would be inevitable.
And the test made me fall from my chair: yes, the analog input is converted into digital by the node, the dac receives a digital signal at 44.1khz!
I just saved many euros, I hope this information will be useful to some of you.
Nb : I use a phono preamp between the turntable and the node 2I, not visible on the picture.
20220615_115507.jpg
 
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Rja4000

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Hello,
I want to share with you a particularity of the node 2i (that some of you may already know!)
I am currently using a Node 2i connected to a Topping E50 dac, which is connected to a Ncore power amp. For some time, I've been wanting to listen to vinyls, but I thought that the analog input of the node was not converted to digital and therefore would not be transmitted to my external dac... but I was wrong!!!
I did a test today, without conviction, thinking that buying a preamp with a source selector would be inevitable.
And the test made me fall from my chair: yes, the analog input is converted into digital by the node, the dac receives a digital signal at 44.1khz!
I just saved many euros, I hope this information will be useful to some of you.
Nb : I use a phono preamp between the turntable and the node 2I, not visible on the picture.
View attachment 212799
And does it share the sound with other rooms then ?
 
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